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JURY VINDICATES HARTFORD’S DECISION TO TERMINATE FORMER BALLPARK DEVELOPER, REMOVING BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO DEVELOPMENT

JURY VINDICATES HARTFORD’S DECISION TO TERMINATE FORMER BALLPARK DEVELOPER, REMOVING BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO DEVELOPMENT

HARTFORD, CONN (July 2, 2019) – Today a Connecticut Superior Court jury unanimously ruled in favor of the City of Hartford in the lawsuit filed by Centerplan Construction, which was selected by the prior administration in 2015 to build Dunkin’ Park.  Mayor Bronin fired Centerplan in June 2016, and got Centerplan’s insurance company, Arch Insurance, to take responsibility for completing the stadium without additional taxpayer money. 

“Today’s ruling is a complete vindication of our work to protect taxpayers from bearing even more cost to finish the stadium project we inherited,” said Mayor Bronin.  “When we took office, the stadium project was far behind schedule and way over budget, and instead of asking the taxpayers to pay for the developer’s failures, we drew a line in the sand and held the developer accountable.  This is a major victory for the City of Hartford, and we are eager to move forward with the development of the parcels around the ballpark.  I want to thank our legal team, including Corporation Counsel Howard Rifkin and Leslie King and her attorneys at Murtha Cullina, for their outstanding representation of the City over the last three years.  I also want to thank City staff in many departments who spent a tremendous amount of time both getting the stadium built and participating in the litigation, including Sean Fitzpatrick, Mike Looney, and Roger Martin, among many, many others.” 

“First and foremost, I want to thank our legal team and city staff who worked so hard to bring us to this point,” said City Council President Glendowlyn L.H. Thames.  “We stood our ground and protected the interests of Harford residents in this important litigation. Now, with this significant hurdle behind us and a developer already in place, the city is well positioned to accelerate the development of the Downtown North parcels around the ballpark. I look forward to getting shovels in the ground on the first parcel.”

“It has been a privilege to represent the people of Hartford, and we are thrilled that the jury so clearly and thoroughly ruled in the City’s favor,” said Leslie P. King, a partner at Murtha Cullina and the City’s lead outside attorney in all litigation related to the stadium project.  “In the vast majority of development disputes, taxpayers end up bearing the cost of completing the project, so it was a bold decision for Mayor Bronin to fire Centerplan and go to trial.  Today’s verdict demonstrates that it was clearly the right decision.”

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HARTFORD COMMEMORATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF STONEWALL RIOTS

HARTFORD COMMEMORATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF STONEWALL RIOTS

HARTFORD, CONN (June 28, 2019) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin joined members of the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and discuss “Pride Under the Stars,” a public event to mark the Stonewall anniversary.  “Pride Under the Stars” will take place this evening at 6 PM on Burr Mall and it will feature drinks, food, a public art presentation including projections of events in LGBTQ+ history, and DJ Ephraim Adamz, a Hartford resident who will also be playing at World Pride in New York City.  The event is sponsored by Stanley Black & Decker and TheaterWorks.

“The movement for LGBTQ+ rights started long before Stonewall, but it was a galvanizing moment in the fight for true equality and we’re proud to commemorate this fiftieth anniversary as a community,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “We have come a long way, but we have a lot more work to do as a city and as a country.  We want our city and our country to be a place where you can live openly, proudly, safely, and happily, no matter who you love or how you identify.  I want to thank the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee for their months of work to put together a terrific event, and I also want to thank Stanley Black & Decker and TheaterWorks for their generous support.”

Mayor Bronin also announced the appointment of David Grant to serve as the City of Hartford’s first LGBTQ+ Liaison in the Mayor’s office, in addition to his current role as an Executive Assistant, where he assists with City Council legislative business and a range of other responsibilities.  Since joining the city last year, Grant has helped change internal city forms to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees and trained the City’s Reentry Welcome Center staff on how to engage with LGBTQ+ individuals returning from incarceration.  He has also helped lead the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee and currently serves on the Hartford Pride committee.

“David is an important member of my team, and I am excited that he has agreed to serve officially as our LGBTQ+ Liaison, a role he has played informally for some time,” said Mayor Bronin.

“The evening program is an opportunity for the LGTBQ+ community and allies to unite and celebrate, and it will also be informative,” said Charlie Ortiz, Executive Director of Claro and the Chair of theHartford Pridecommittee, who is also a member of the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee.  “We will be projecting images and short documentaries.  The event will be held at Burr Mall, which is strategically located at the crossroads of several residential developments and cultural assets, offering a great opportunity for social integration.”

“At Stanley Black & Decker, we know that diverse perspectives are essential for achieving our vision and living our purpose – which is to support and advance those who make the world,” said Fiona Mohring of Stanley Black & Decker.  “We’re proud to be headquartered in New Britain, Conn., where we have been part of the Greater Hartford community for 176 years. We feel that there is no better way to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion than by supporting the LGBTQ+ community in our own backyard.”

“It has been enormously satisfying to collaborate with the City and other cultural and service organizations to mark this important milestone,” said Eric Ort, the Artistic Associate at TheaterWorks and a member of the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee.  “If Pride Under the Stars has as much good spirit, respect, and affection as the committee meetings, it will be a remarkable evening.  TheaterWorks actively looks for ways to connect communities and so, naturally, we wanted to be part of this historic anniversary.  The anniversary of Stonewall is an opportunity to celebrate, but when we gather, we are also putting a stake in the ground to ensure that civil rights for all people continue to expand.”

Members of the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee include representatives of: Buzz Engine; the Connecticut Historical Society; TheaterWorks; the Wadsworth Atheneum; the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective; YWCA New Britain Sexual Assault Crisis Service; Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus; Capital City Pride; the Obama Foundation’s Community Leadership Corps; the Hartford Symphony Orchestra; Out Film CT; LGBTQ+ Commission; Journey Writers; and other local residents.

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HARTFORD AND STATE OFFICIALS WARN OF FENTANYL-RELATED OVERDOSES, PROMOTE TESTING RESOURCES

HARTFORD AND STATE OFFICIALS WARN OF FENTANYL-RELATED OVERDOSES, PROMOTE TESTING RESOURCES

HARTFORD, CONN (June 4, 2019)Today the City of Hartford, the Connecticut State Department of Public Health, and the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services warned residents of the risk of fentanyl laced in drugs other than heroin, including cocaine, designer drugs, and potentially even marijuana.  The City and State are working closely together to make fentanyl testing strips available to community partners working with individuals with substance abuse disorders, including AIDS CT and the Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition.  First responders in the city are equipped with naloxone, which is the most effective antidote to overdoses.  Between June 3rd and June 4th, 2019, there were five fatal overdoses in North Hartford suspected to be related to fentanyl laced in drugs other than heroin.  These overdoses follow nine non-fatal overdoses between June 1st and June 2nd, 2019, also suspected to be related to fentanyl laced in drugs other than heroin.  The Hartford Police Department reminded residents that, consistent with State’s 2011 Good Samaritan law, they will not be arrested for possession of illegal drugs if they are reporting an overdose and officers arrive on scene.

“The overdoses we have seen in the last few days are particularly concerning to us because it appears they are due to fentanyl laced in drugs other than heroin,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “We are working closely with our partners at the State to ensure we have enough naloxone to respond appropriately, and we are working with our local nonprofit partners to distribute fentanyl testing strips.  But beyond that, we ask everyone to help spread the word that any illegal drug may be contaminated with fentanyl, which is a poison.”

The State Department of Public Health has a Naloxone Overdose Reporting App (www.norasaves.com), which teaches people what the signs of an overdose are, how to administer naloxone, where to acquire naloxone, and how to report it.

“Every overdose death is a tragedy,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell.  “Our goal is to assist local health and first responders to save as many lives as we can.  Working together, we are making sure the word gets out to community organizations and health departments to be on alert for laced substances that can be lethal if ingested.  We will also make sure all resources such as naloxone are in place for first responders and anyone who helps to treat the addicted for opioid use disorder.  Family members and friends can also help simply by keeping an eye on their loved ones and reporting to health or law enforcement authorities any unusual narcotics they might be using.  The point is to get people in treatment as soon as possible and prevent overdoses from claiming any more lives.”

“Whenever we see a number of overdose deaths in a short period of time in a single location, it’s vital that we err on the side of caution and raise awareness of any potential danger to help prevent additional overdoses,” said Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon. “If you or a loved one is actively using illicit drugs, it’s important to have naloxone on hand.  Recovery is possible and help is available.  If you are ready to receive help, please call 1-800-563-4086 to be connected to addiction treatment and services.”

“Our priority is keeping people safe, and so, consistent with state law, our police officers will not arrest anyone who makes a call to 911 about an overdose emergency,” said Acting Chief of Police Jason Thody.  “In the event of an overdose, drug paraphernalia can be crucial in our investigation of the source of these drugs, and so we don’t want people to dispose of that evidence because they’re concerned about being arrested.”

 

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